Preview and Picks for NCAA Football Week 2
Week 2 of the college football season often sees some significant line adjustments based on Week 1 results. No bigger example of that than Nebraska at Colorado (-2.5) this week after the Buffaloes pulled off the surprising upset last week at TCU with a 45-42 win as a 20.5-point underdog. Nebraska was a projected 8-point favorite over Colorado prior to last week's results, which also saw the Cornhuskers lose at Minnesota 13-10 despite a dominant rushing edge but a minus (-3) turnover differential. Nebraska held a 10-3 lead late when Minnesota converted a 4th and 10 for a 13-yard touchdown.
Following Week 1 results that saw a pair of Top 25 teams lose and our Picks go 1-1 and Opinions 3-0, we're back for more big game betting Picks, insight and information you can bet on. Lets shoot for more birdies and green on the college gridiron as we fire away against the leading online sportsbooks.
Our totals Pick in No. 8 Florida State's 45-24 win over No. 5 LSU was an unfortunate loser, but our other Picks and Opinions on side selections went 4-0 with the bonus Pick winner in Rutgers romp over Northwestern, 24-7.
Did you notice in your recaps, results and box score analysis that Colorado and our Top 25 Pick on Duke (+13) over No. 9 Clemson won outright as double-digit 'Dogs? They were big moneyline payouts as well.
College football strategies and stability ratings
Last year's Top 25 matchup Picks went 11-7 ATS, and we'll update the Picks and Opinions each week along with Leans and bonus picks. I'll be providing Picks, Opinions or Leans on every Top 25 matchup each week, and add additional Picks and Opinions on Top 25 games/teams. The Top 25 matchups and teams draw the most media and betting interest, so we'll cover those games each week with added information you can bet on.
Top 25 Matchup Picks: 0-1
Top 25 Matchup Opinions: 1-0
Top 25 Games Opinions: 2-0
Bonus Picks: 1-0
Check out college football Week 2 opening odds and line moves in my coverage in Forbes.
Week 2 Top 25 Matchups and Picks
College football betting lines from BetOnline unless or reduced juice sportsbook BetAnySports unless noted.
Saturday, Sept. 9
No. 11 Texas at No. 3 Alabama | 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
Line: Alabama -7 and Total 53.5
A rematch of Alabama's 20-19 last-second win at Texas in Week 2 last year. Texas was a 21-point underdog, and Longhorns QB Quinn Ewers left that game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury after completing 9-of-12 passes for 134 yards. Now Texas tackles the 'Tide in their final showdown before becoming conference rivals next season when Texas moves to the SEC. Texas has tons of talent, including the better QB in this matchup, and the 'Horns have closed the gap considerably on the 'Tide from last year's contest. One major publication rated the Longhorns position units best in the Big 12 across the board. College GameDay is in Tuscaloosa Saturday, and the guest 'picker' is former Alabama and NFL QB Joe Namath. You know who he's picking, but not us.
No. 20 Ole Miss at No. 24 Tulane | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN2
Line: Mississippi (-7.5) and Total 66.5
Laying road points at this price is not usually on our menu, but in college football the talent discrepancy and mismatches in matchups can be significant. It may not appear so in this matchup of Top 25 teams, but Tulane should fall out after getting run over by the Rebels and star RB Quinshon Judkins. The improved play of QB Jaxson Dart is noted, and he rates among the best in the SEC. Dart was on target in last week's blowout win passing for 334 yards and 4 TD's in less than three quarters of a 73-7 no mercy win over Mercer. The Rebels experienced and top-tier offensive line is among the best in the SEC, and Mississippi should leave the Big Easy with a high-scoring win. Note that leading U.S. Sportsbook DraftKings is dealing Ole Miss -7 (-115), and this becomes a Pick if -7 is widely available on game day.
Opinion: Ole Miss
Top 25 Games and Lines
Betting lines and college football odds refresh periodically and are subject to change, including on props and live betting.
Saturday, Sept. 9
No. 1 Georgia (-42) vs. Ball State | 12 p.m. ET | SEC Network
No. 2 Michigan (-37) vs. UNLV | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
No. 3 Alabama (-7) vs. No. 11 Texas | 7 p.m. | ESPN
No. 4 Florida State (-31) vs. Southern Miss | 8:30 p.m. | ACC Network
No. 5 Ohio State (NL) vs. Youngstown State | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network
No. 6 USC (-29) vs. Stanford | 10:30 p.m. | FOX
No. 7 Penn State (NL) vs. Delaware | 12 p.m. | Peacock
No. 8 Washington (-34) vs. Tulsa | 5 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
No. 9 Tennessee (NL) vs. Austin Peay | 5 p.m. | ESPN+/SECN+
No. 10 Notre Dame (-7.5) at NC State | 12 p.m. | ABC
No. 12 Utah (-7.5) at Baylor | 12 p.m. | ESPN
No. 13 Oregon (-6.5) at Texas Tech | 7 p.m. | FOX
No. 14 LSU (NL) vs. Grambling | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN+/SECN+
No. 15 Kansas State (-16.5) vs. Troy | 12 p.m. | FS1
No. 16 Oregon State (NL) vs. UC Davis | 9 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
No. 17 North Carolina (-18.5) vs. Appalachian State | 5:15 p.m. | ACC Network
No. 18 Oklahoma (-16) vs. SMU | 6 p.m. | ESPN+
No. 19 Wisconsin (-6) at Washington State | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 20 Ole Miss (-7.5) at No. 24 Tulane | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 21 Duke (NL) vs. Lafayette | 6 p.m. | ESPN+/ACCNX
No. 22 Colorado (-2.5) vs. Nebraska | 12 p.m. | FOX
No. 23 Texas A&M (-4) at Miami (Fla.) | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 25 Clemson (NL) vs. Charleston Southern | 2:15 p.m. | ACC Network
Others receiving votes: Iowa 73, UCLA 55, Arkansas 28, TCU 27, Kentucky 15, Pittsburgh 8, Mississippi St. 5, Miami 4, NC State 4, Auburn 3, Troy 3, Fresno St. 3, Minnesota 3, Wyoming 3, Iowa St. 2, Texas St. 2, Texas Tech 1, Louisville 1, Washington St. 1, Illinois 1, Houston 1, UCF 1, James Madison 1.
Iowa (-3.5) at Iowa State
UCLA (-14.5) at San Diego State
Top 25 Totals Picks
No. 10 Notre Dame at NC State - Opinion: Over 50
Nebraska at No. 22 Colorado - Opinion: Over 58.5
Notre Dame has been balanced and strong on offense through two games outscoring two inferior foes 98-6 with new QB Sam Hartman a top performer. Hartman faced NC State each of the last three years while playing QB for Wake Forest, and his teams scored 42, 45 and 30 points. The Irish pro-style offense will get their share over 30 again, leaving NC State to improve its passing game from last week to make up the difference playing from behind. Notre Dame bettors know that the Irish are in a negative 70% ATS road favorite situation against them coming off a pair of 25+ point wins to start the season.
Did you see Colorado explode on offense last week at TCU in a 45-42 win? But the Buffs defense is still deficient, and Nebraska gets a few extra days to prepare, correct turnovers and score more against a inferior defense after last week's disappointing defeat at Minnesota, 13-10.
Check back by Saturday morning for any additions and updates.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and loves college football. He's been handicapping and betting college football for more than two decades and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. FairwayJay chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on X (Twitter) @FairwayJay for more sports and betting insights.